The Personal Tax Identification Number (ITIN) is a tax payment number given by the IRS. The ITIN is given to people who do not have and are not eligible to obtain a Social Security Number (SSN) from the Social Security Administration (SSA).
The ITIN is issued regardless of immigration status because residents or non-residents may file taxes or report under the IRS Code.
The ITIN is the Personal Tax Identification Number, which is a number assigned by the IRS for tax purposes given to persons who do not have, or are not eligible for, a Social Security Number in the United States of America. ITINs are used by people who do not have Social Security for tax payments to the IRS.
The ITIN is a nine-digit number that begins with the number '9' and has a format similar to the Social Security Number, for example: 912-34-5678.
The ITIN has nothing to do with your immigration status in the U.S. because either residents or non-residents need to file IRS-required taxes.
The ITIN is not the same as an SSN and does not provide the same benefits. Its use is for tax purposes only.
Form W-7 is the official IRS form that must be submitted to obtain your ITIN. To obtain your ITIN, you need to complete Form W-7.
You do not have a Social Security Number (SSN), and you are not eligible to get one. And if it is one of the following:
- You are a non-resident who needs to file a tax return with the IRS
- U.S. resident who is filing a tax return for the IRS
- Relative or spouse of a nonresident with a Visa
In most cases, Form W-7 is sent with the tax return and is attached to the front of the return. The W-7 form is sent instead of Form 1040/tax forms to the address on the form.
You can file your Form W-7 in two ways:
By mail to the following IRS address:
Internal Revenue Service
P.O. Box 149342
Austin, TX 78714-9342
Apply in person at the Tax Payment Assistance Centers (TACs).
Appointments are necessary. To make an appointment call 1-844-545-5640
A list of available TACs can be found here: https://www.irs.gov/uac/tac-locations-where-in-person-document-verification-is-provided
All applications for the W-7 ITIN MUST be accompanied by the following documents:
- Original, valid U.S. tax return
- SSA Denial Letter (if applicable)
- Physical/original documents or certified copies that show that the information filled in the form is the same and demonstrates a connection to a country. Documents must be valid and have not expired.
Identification Documents accepted by the IRS:
- a. Passport - the only document that can be sent without the need to present any other document.
Other types of documents accepted into the IRS - used with others to prove identity and legal status
- b. Photo Identification of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- c. U.S. Department of State Approved Visa
- d. International Military Identification
- e. International voting card
- f. U.S. Driver's License
- g. U.S. Military Identification Card
- h. International Driver's License
- i. U.S. State Identification Card
- j. National Identification Card
For applicants claimed as family members
- k. Birth certificate
- l. School Records (for children under 14 and students under 18)
Using your passport (original or certified copy) is the most recommended way, because using the passport, you do not need to use any other document from the list.
This is the copy of the original document that has been given by the agency and certifies that it is an exact copy of the original document, in addition it includes an official stamp of the agency.
You can request a copy of the documents from your embassy or consulate.
It usually takes 6-8 weeks for the IRS to process ITIN applications. You will receive a letter from the IRS with the assigned number within 6 weeks, but it may take 8-10 weeks.
The original documents will be sent back to the address listed on Form W-7. It is not necessary to attach an envelope, but it is permitted to include a pre-paid Express Mail or courier envelope for faster return.
To check the status of your W-7, you will need to call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040.
Some people with non-immigrant status who are authorized to work in the U.S. may receive an SSN.
Individuals who applied for a work authorization document (EAD) through the Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) may apply for an SSN.
You can apply for an SSN from the Social Security office by filling out an SS-5 form. This only applies to people who have obtained a Visa from the U.S. Department of State that allows them to obtain an SSN. If you have applied for an SSN and it has been denied, you will need to present the Social Security denial letter in order to apply for an ITIN.
Yes, you can e-file ONLY after you get your ITIN.